April 5, 1947 – October 30, 2014
A loving husband, father, brother, friend, legendary entrepreneur and generous philanthropist. It is with great sadness that the Forzani family announces the passing of John Forzani our husband, father, brother, and friend.
John was born in Calgary on April 5, 1947 to his parents Audrey and John Forzani, middle brother to Joe and Tom. He grew up in Calgary attending Saint Francis High School where he started his football career with the Saint Francis Browns.
John was offered several football scholarships but chose to follow his brother Joe to Utah State University, soon to be followed by younger brother Tom. He played left guard and was a tri captain for the Utah State Aggies, graduating with degrees in business and physical education. The highlight of his time at Utah State was meeting and marrying, 43 years ago, the love of his life, Linda (nee Larsen). John was the proud father of Michael and Jodi, the other loves of his life.
He returned to Calgary after signing with the Stampeders and played Left Guard for 6 years, 1971-1977. The Forzani brothers were lucky enough to all play for the Stampeders from 1972 – 1976, the only time in CFL history that 3 brothers have played on the same team at the same time.
In 1974 John opened Forzani’s Locker Room which later became the publicly traded Forzani Group. In 2011 the Company was sold to Canadian Tire. Perhaps the achievement he was most proud of was starting the Mother’s Day Run in 1977. It has raised millions for local charities including the establishment of the Forzani McPhail Colon Cancer Screening Center. Further recognition was bestowed when both University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business and McGill University, both awarded him Honorary Doctorates.
John was an avid sportsman and had a passion for the game of golf. He had a fantastic sense of humour and loved a good party where he was often the center of attention. He had a quick wit and always had a perfect one-liner for every occasion. Charisma, intellect and curiosity were hallmarks of his love for life and the people he touched on his journey. There is a hole in our world that will take some time to repair.
A Private Service for family and invited friends only will be held on Thursday, November 6, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. A Celebration of John’s Life will be held on Thursday, November 13, 2014 from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at The Red and White Club (1833 Crowchild Trail NW, Calgary, AB). All are welcome, please come and celebrate John with us. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Forzani Foundation would be appreciated. (www.forzanifoundation.com).
In living memory of John Forzani, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Park Memorial, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.Print This Obituary & Condolences